Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Truest statement of the week

As unstable as Trump is alleged to be, Democrats rejected calls from many quarters to oppose the administration’s inclusion in the NDAA to develop “usable” nuclear weapons as part of the drive to incorporate their tactical use. So-called usable nuclear weapons -- lower-yield devices that can theoretically be used like conventional bombs -- are now being advanced as a necessary part of the mainline “defense” strategy. Among the many problems with this position, the biggest is that this strategy has nothing to do with defense and everything to do with enhancing the capacity for a “nuclear first strike.”  Interestingly, not only was opposition from Democrats MIA, but the lopsided vote indicates that they have fully embraced this insane policy that was first proposed under Barack Obama.  
Senate Democrats even allowed Trump to get away with misappropriating billions of dollars granted by Congress to the Pentagon and divert the cash to construct the border wall by reimbursing the Pentagon for the use of those funds without any penalties. An offense, by the way, that could arguably be impeachable. 

Why the bipartisanship on the military budget? The easy answer is that both parties share the strategic commitment to maintain U.S. global hegemony against all rivals, but especially against China and Russia, represented in the U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) document.

-- Ajamu Baraka, "U.S. Militarism and the One-Sided Class War" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

Among other things, the Epstein case forces us to ask ourselves some uncomfortable questions about the real meaning of "fake" news. There is, or should be, more to being informed than fact-checking formalism. If you have spent the last few years earnestly consuming mainstream left-of-center media in this country you will be under the impression that the United States has fallen under the control of a spray-tanned Mussolini clone who is never more than five minutes away from making birth control illegal. If you watch Fox News and read conservative publications, you no doubt bemoan the fact that Ronald Reagan's heir is being hamstrung by a bunch of avocado toast-eating feminist witches. Meanwhile, Alex Jones's audience will tell you that America, like the rest of the world, is ruled by a depraved internationalist elite whose ultimate allegiance is not to countries or political parties or ideologies but to one another. These people believe in nothing. They will safeguard their wealth and privilege at any cost. They will never break rank. And they will commit unspeakable crimes with impunity, while anyone who dares to speculate openly is sued or hounded out of public life as a kook. 
Which of these worldviews is closest to the truth?

-- Matthew Walther, "The Jeffrey Epstein case is why people believe in Pizzagate" (THE WEEK).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Tuesday night here on the west coast.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

That's what we got.  See you next time.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: In case you forgot . . .

The Iraq War is not over.

FO Paul Schroader and FO Solomon Nader in Iraq for the 4th of July! Paul and Solomon are MEDEVAC assets deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. They hope you had a great 4th, and they're looking forward to getting back up to FL380 soon!

Happy 4th of july from Iraq.🇺🇸

TV: A fairy tale they won't stop telling

NETFLIX's THE LAST CZARS makes you think -- mainly about how little either NETFLIX or the makers of the series know.


As SPUTNIK pointed out early on, the series' establishing shots, like the one labeled "FEBRUARY 4, 1905," are incorrect containing things not present at the time of the shots or things painted the wrong color.  Historical isn't a minor issue for THE LAST CZARS because this isn't just a drama, it's a docudrama.  It uses narration and then trots out some poorly acted scenes of drama.

It's about as historical as AMERICA'S MOST WANTED, albeit far less interesting.

TOWN AND COUNTRY raved over the . . .  Well not the performances but over facial similarities in casting.  As always TOWN AND COUNTRY is the leading publication on all important issues or at least the definitive source no one else really cares about.

And no one should really care about THE LAST CZARS except for the tiny element of viewers still lamenting the demise of 'SKINAMAX' aka CINEMAX AFTER DARK. If you're just not getting your share of gratuitous female breasts and nipples, THE LAST CZARS may be the show for you.

But we are honestly confused as to who this show is for?

If you're interested in a documentary, you'd watch one.  If you wanted a drama did you really want all the documentary voice over.  More to the point, the stilted writing and acting should run every drama fan off.

Larger issue though, who is this for?

AMAZON's already done a piss poor series THE ROMNOFFS where each episode revolved around some loser insisting that they were descendants of The House of Romanov.  Film wise, there's been both a live action ANASTASIA (starring Ingrid Bergman) and an animated one (voiced by Meg Ryan) as well as a TV film ANASTASIA: THE MYSTERY OF ANNA (starring Amy Irving).  The 2017 Broadway musical ANASTASIA will probably be a telefilm or theatrical one at some point.  There's been many movies and films based on the dynasty or people claiming to be part of it -- MATILDA, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, I KILLED RASPUTIN, RASPUTIN: DARK SERVANT OF DESTINY, RASPUTIN THE MAD MONK, RASPUTIN AND THE EMPRESS, CLOTHES MAKE THE WOMAN, FALL OF EAGLES, PETER THE GREAT, THE FALL OF THE ROMANOVS . . .

That's not a complete listing and films like ASSASSIN OF THE TSAR are not included because they were made by Russia or the Soviet Union.  We have included joint-productions where the US or UK teamed with Russia for a film or mini-series.

But that Russia would be interested in the story of the Romanovs makes sense, it is their history.  We can understand that.  Natalie Wood, before she died, having had trouble getting studios interested in a film about Frances Farmer, had decided to play Anastasia on stage and this made sense as well, her parents were Russian immigrants.  If, tomorrow, Carly Simon decided to write a musical about the dynasty, we wouldn't question that (due to her college studies).  However, this obsession that is this topic by so many others?

Over the holiday, TCM aired a number of movies supposedly fitting the 4th of July.  So they trotted out the musical 1776, THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (a 1938 short film) and, best of all (the only one with true entertainment value) THE SCARLET COAT.  That last one is a 1955 film starring Cornel Wilde, Anne Francis, Michael Wilding and George Saunders that's built around whether or not the revolutionaries will learn Benedict Arnold is a traitor.

Watching that film especially, we were reminded that the last big American project about the Revolutionary War was that musical (1776) from the year 1972.  It's true that, in 1985, the UK made the film REVOLUTION but, again, it was made by the United Kingdom.  It's also true that for years Jane Fonda attempted to make a film (A HOUSE DIVIDED) about the Revolutionary War with no luck.

So why is that?

These Romanov films and mini-series and TV movies aren't really needed or wanted.  They never explore the revolution or the people who were a part of it.  It's just oh-poor-dynasty.

It starts to seem less like it has to do with the Romanovs and more like it has to do with the emergence of a revolution that a capitalist system really doesn't care for.  Isn't that really the point of this obsession with the Romanovs on the point of people who have no real stake or interest in it?  It's just more propaganda and hasn't this propaganda been going on since the start of the Bolshevik Revolution that took down the Romanovs to begin with?

Think about it, how many films or TV shows has the US made questioning what happened to those in the colonies loyal to England?

But we have had non-stop portrayals of those poor Romanovs.  Poor, poor Romanovs.

John Reed and Louise Bryant tried to report reality and were attacked by the US press and the US government -- so very often the same apparatus.

NETFLIX's THE LAST CZARS would be bad entertainment regardless of its focus.  It's entire format and execution would render it useless.  But as consumers, we also need to be critical about what they're putting in front of us.  The Russian Revolution was a historic thing.  But that's not the story they're telling, is it?  The story they're telling is that the revolution destroyed those wonderful Romanovs, those poor Romanovs.  Looking at how THE LAST CZARS fits into that body of work, we're seeing a non-stop effort to demonize the rights of the people while glorifying a few.  We don't see that with the French Revolution portrayals and we don't see it with the Revolutionary War portrayals.  So ask yourself why we see it always and forever with the Russian Revolution?

Judy Garland's ALONE

judy garland alone

Judy Garland is one of the most praised entertainers of the 20th century.  But as Kat discovered when she wrote "Kat's Korner: Give Judy her due" last week and as Ruth noted in "Judy Garland" -- that doesn't protect her from sexism.

Judy's ALONE is an album on par with Frank Sinatra's IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING but it isn't reviewed that way.

In fact, it's reviewed the way any album by a woman is reviewed: far less than more modest efforts by a lesser known male.  Even being Judy Garland, a legend, doesn't guarantee that her incredible album gets the sort of attention that it deserves.  That is the case with women artists, if you've missed it.  Every leaky dick with a laptop will write weekly about Bob Dylan or some other man while ignoring female artists.

The fact that Judy is considered one of the finest vocalists of the 20th century does not mean that she gets treated any different than every other female vocalist is treated.

At this site, Ava and C.I. have done incredible work on putting women into the pop culture history.  And that 14 years and counting of work has had an impact.  But we need to all be doing this.

Women are not tokens in history, they are a part of history.

When William Goldman died last November, we had a few e-mails suggesting we write something nice about him.  C.I. nixed that.  "I don't give a f**k what film he wrote that changed some little drip's life, the reality is he was a homophobe and it's impossible to read anything he wrote without factoring that in."

William, for those who are wondering how this is connected, used his homophobia as the basis for his ESQUIRE article "Judy Floats: There are many tides in the affairs of Judy Garland, and many queer fish caught in the undertow."

He slammed Judy for her audience -- and for her embrace of gays in her audience.  That was too much for William Goldman.  Is it too much for others at this late date?  Is that another reason that someone deemed one of the greatest singers of all time doesn't get deserved credit for her albums?

Who knows?  But you've got the power.  You can amplify what needs to be amplified.  You don't have to be part of the problem.  Tear down the system with your own hands.


Remembering Bruce Dixon and Justin Raimondo

Last time, we offered "Two great losses" noting the passings of Bruce A. Dixon and Justin Raimondo.

BLACK AGENDA REPORT has noted Bruce's legacy:

Black Agenda Radio with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford
09 Jul 2019
BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon, the former Black Panther and lifelong activist who died from blood cancer at age 68, was “ a real soldier in the sense that he was willing and eager to take on any

  • Raymond Nat Turner , BAR poet-in-residence
    03 Jul 2019
    Here’s the FOIA requested, Redacted part of the story they never tell You. 

  • Bruce Dixon
    03 Jul 2019
    I was born to working class parents, and raised on the south side of Chicago.

  • And at COUNTERPUNCH, you can read:

    Ann Garrison

    Pathetic Patricia Arquette

    Is there an uglier person than Patty Rotten Teeth Arquette?

    Probably not.

    Here is Julian Assange feeding and alluding to the Russian made propaganda that Seth Rich was his source.

    Patricia Arquette was never a movie star.  Largely because of the work of her family -- in this generation, the work of her sister Rosanna -- Patty got a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award.  Patty being Patty, she had to make it all about White women and then play dumb when there was a backlash to her acceptance speech.

    In the time since, she's done nothing of value but recycle the same performance she's given in every film and TV show she's ever done.

    Julian Assange knows more about where the DNC leak came from than does Patty Arquette.  Listening to a few centrist-Democrat programs on KPFA over the last years has convinced Patty that she's brave and radical.

    She's nothing but a bad actress.

    If you wonder why she's turned into such a nut case, show her a little bit of sympathy.

    Imagine winning an Oscar when you know you really didn't deserve it and you know that nothing you've ever done has matched -- let alone topped -- your sister Rosanna's performances in THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG, BABY IT'S YOU, AFTER HOURS, NEW YORK STORIES, 8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE, THE BIG BLUE, PULP FICTION, CRASH . . .

    It has to haunt her, fueling her madness.

    Oh, well, she's always got HOLY MATRIMONY to be proud of, you know, where the adult Patricia marries a 13-year-old boy?  Other than that, she's also got her bizarre romantic life which includes faking five years of marriage to Nicholas Cage.  Why do they leave, Patti, why do they all leave!!!!


  • Replying to   and 
    Como que no ?? Entonces serían tan amables de aclararnos , quien detuvo y tiene preso a Julian Assange ??
  • In any DEMOCRACY Journalists ought to be FREE to Expose Corruption without let or hindrance from Elected Political Leaders who pretend THEY believe in FREEDOM Julian Assange Is Not A Criminal
  • Una empresa española grabó las 24 horas del día al activista Julian Assange durante su estadía en la Embajada de Ecuador en Londres.
  • Hi Marise You committed on Feb. 21, DFAT Senate estimates in response to this petition, to return with an answer about the USA Extradition for Julian Assange, that this petition is pressuring to block. Signatories now exceed 159,000. Action required
  • Replying to  
    I’ll trust Julian assange, thank you, before any other media source
  • Replying to 
    My main concern is that Julian Assange is in grave danger, from Australia, Sweden, USA, Britain & Canada, as members of 5 Eyes. I’m not American so USA is a lesser, tho great concern. I don’t have an answer. I do know Julian won’t receive a fair trial, let alone justice, yet.
  • Replying to  
    Keep believing Yahoo. Julian Assange admitted that he got his leaks from Seth Rich. He has no reason to lie...but Yahoo does
  • Julian Assange is not a man who just says things for dramatic effect.” If he were here all I would say is I’m sorry.

  • A very important baby for in his "life" at embassy. His little companion. What's up now, Kitty, Julian being at Belmarsh ? They refuse him access to his lawyers & visitors... they sick b@stards ! 😢
  • Replying to  
    If anyone at is actually serious about protecting Journalists so that they can do their job than they can prove it by helping Julian Assange. Who at the moment is doing an unprecedented amount of time for a bail violation even though he was granted asylum.
  • ~~~~~~~~Jump Rope Jingle~~~~~~~ Julian Assange, Julian Assange, Journalist #1, Revealed US war crimes, every one! The New York Times said Uncle Sam, please read our news and if you approve, Give us a smiley face when you do!
  • Pure artifice. Reeks of hypocrisy. Free .
  • Remember, Wikileaks has NEVER had to retract a story for publishing false information. Ever.

    Please Bring Julian Assange Home We the Commonwealth Must Unite & Not allow the Pentagon the Bullys dictate our Freedom

    1. Findings of Torture: The UN Rapporteur and Julian Assange
    2. Ask mueller why he didnt interview julian assange.

    1. Where is Assange? Is Assange alive? Is Assange dead? Where is Assange? In Guantanamo express? Where is Assange? Where? Where? Where? UK = free press killer! UK = journalist killer! UK= Julian Assange killer!
    2. Replying to 
      Please use this opportunity to free Julian Assange and .

    Remaining silent while knowing the torturous conditions of Julian Assange's treatment these 9 long years shows a contempt for rule of law & complicity in his persecution. Your character and integrity is being judged.

    1. why no mention of persecuted, award-winning journalist, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Julian Assange?
    2. A Soldier’s Defense of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange
    3. Please be pro-active! Julian Assange needs your help! Do your part by Sharing this with your Friends and your Social Networks. “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone else.” J.B.

    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
    Poll1 { display:none; }